SHENZHEN, China — With one scorching shot, Sean Monahan should have eased any lingering fears for Calgary Flames followers watching within the wee hours again house.
The primary-line centre spent his summer time recovering from 4 separate surgical procedures, together with an operation on his left wrist.
With a power-play snipe in Saturday’s Four-Three shootout loss to the Boston Bruins at Shenzhen Universiade Sports activities Centre, Monahan proved he’s now feeling simply effective, thanks very a lot.
“I favored his sport. I actually favored it,” praised Flames captain Mark Giordano, who personally potted a pair within the opener of the 2018 O.R.G. China Video games. “He had a lethal shot with a half a wrist. So now that he’s absolutely healed, his hips are good, his groins are good, his wrist is sweet … I’m excited.
“I feel it’s going to be a superb 12 months for him.”
Monahan’s efficiency was among the many many positives for the Flames through the far-away matinee, a contest that was surprisingly spirited and unsurprisingly scramble-y. (Bear in mind, these jet-lagged groups had only one apply apiece earlier than Saturday’s showcase.)
An introduced crowd of 10,218 engaged and enthusiastic followers was handled to a little bit of bonus motion when Giordano ripped the equalizer with simply 46.Four seconds remaining in regulation.
Time beyond regulation solved nothing. Matthew Tkachuk scored Calgary’s lone shootout aim, whereas Brad Marchand matched and Jake DeBrusk ended it within the fourth spherical.
Monahan wasn’t chosen within the expertise competitors, a reminder that that is the time of 12 months for auditions and experiments.
Head-coaching rent Invoice Peters may be new to Calgary, however he already is aware of No. 23 will be counted on to select corners in clutch moments.
To Monahan’s credit score, you’d have by no means guessed his left wrist was wrecked final season, when he topped the staff — and equalled his career-high — with 31 tallies.
Saturday’s strike received’t depend towards his totals, nevertheless it’s actually a superb signal.
With the Flames already trailing Three-Zero and on a man-advantage late within the opening stanza, commerce acquisition Elias Lindholm — getting the primary crack because the top-line right-winger — discovered Monahan with a touch-pass to the slot.
The sharpshooting centre almost waited too lengthy earlier than zipping the puck simply contained in the far submit with Zero.1 seconds displaying earlier than the intermission.
“I by no means actually speak numbers-wise … however I’ve excessive expectations for myself,” mentioned Monahan, who has scored 27-plus occasions in every of his previous 4 campaigns. “Clearly I get lots of alternative — I play extra time, power-play, five-on-three and stuff like that — and my job is to supply. So I’ve to place the puck within the web, and I anticipate lots higher than my earlier seasons.”
Monahan may need notched one other early in Saturday’s third interval, however his famous person sidekick Johnny Gaudreau — surveying his choices in an odd-man situation — handed to the trailer as a substitute, and Giordano cashed in.
Calgary’s captain wasn’t executed, both.
With two Bruins seated within the sin-bin and fewer than a minute to play, the Flames summoned goalie Jon Gillies to the bench, organising a six-on-three swarm. After a move from his pal and once-again defence accomplice, TJ Brodie, Giordano unloaded a one-timer from the highest of the fitting circle to drive extra time.
“You wish to save them for the common season, I assume,” Giordano grinned after his two-goal displaying in Shenzhen. “Nevertheless it feels good anytime you may put ’em in like that. For me and for many gamers, you get confidence. And also you wish to get confidence it doesn’t matter what sport it’s. It’s all about feeling good for that season-opener.”
Monahan is feeling good, and that’s a dandy growth for a squad that has bolstered its scoring depth however will nonetheless want big-time contributions from their high unit and extra manufacturing from their power-play.
The alternate captain grimaced by a prolonged checklist of accidents because the Flames tried to cling to their fading playoff hopes final February and March.
Lastly shut down, he stuffed his day-timer with surgical procedure appointments — to repair his proper hip, sports activities hernias on each side and that wonky wrist. (The Flames will restrict his faceoff work through the pre-season to spare any pointless put on and tear.)
“After you have that confidence in your physique, you go right into a sport and you’ve got confidence on the ice,” Monahan mentioned. “Main as much as a sport final 12 months, you don’t know the way you’re going to really feel going into the sport. And now I do. That goes a great distance.
“Proper now, I’m making an attempt to get again on monitor and prepare for the season.”
The Flames’ lineup in Shenzhen featured all of their regulars, with one exception — goalie Mike Smith didn’t costume, with Calgary’s brass apparently wanting their 36-year-old starter to have a bit extra tune-up time earlier than going through enemy shooters.
Gillies completed with 17 saves, with the Bruins doing all of their harm in a span of 1:55 through the opening body. Trent Frederic, Ryan Donato and John Moore did the honours.
Smith ought to be between the pipes Wednesday because the Flames and Bruins wrap up the 2018 O.R.G. China Video games with a rematch at Cadillac Enviornment in Beijing.